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I'm a Tottenham fan who wanted Man City to beat us - the crowd was hostile

  /  autty

I've been a Tottenham season ticket holder for well over a decade and travelled up and down the country to support Spurs and supporting them has given me some of the greatest moments of my life.

On Tuesday night, I found myself in a situation I've never experienced before and one I don't want to experience again. I wanted the team to lose.

I couldn't bear the thought of Spurs handing the title to Arsenal - I didn't care about our slim chances of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

I was expecting the entire fanbase to feel exactly the same as I did. I heard someone say 'I'd rather sell my own mum than see Arsenal win the league'.

So I sat in my regular seat and supported Manchester City for the evening.

In the opening moments of the game I found myself willing Guardiola's team forward, urging Kyle Walker to keep bombing down the wing from right-back, praising Phil Foden's every touch.

It was at this point a quarter of an hour in that the season ticket holder to my left shoulder barged me.

'Mate, please can you stop supporting Man City and wanting them to score. It's already doing my f***ing head in. It's embarrassing that you want us to lose.'

It caught me off guard. How could any Tottenham fan WANT to help Arsenal clinch their first title in 20 years?

I challenged him on that point, to which he replied 'I don't care about anyone else, I only care about Tottenham and I always want the team to win.'

The exchange got a bit more heated - as a fan who has been to every home game this season I feel entitled to support the team in whatever way I want - and it ended with me telling him to mind his own business and I'll do the same.

I looked around and there were plenty of similar conversations all around Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Home fans cheering City corners and grimacing at near misses.

When Erling Haaland scored the opener I gave a muted fist pump - a horrible feeling - but saw around the south stand hundred of Spurs fans celebrating as ferociously as if Son Heung-min had put us in front at the other end.

When the South Korean raced through at 1-0, I had my head in my hands. Collective sighs of relief were heard around me when he was foiled by Stefan Ortega.

It felt like this was the moment the penny dropped for several fans. If they wanted Spurs to win, they had realised what it would've meant if we had.

But not the fan next to me. As I was sat with a smile he left before the final whistle and confronted me again as he headed for the exit: 'Are you happy now? Got what you wanted, and was it worth it?'

Yes I am, yes I did, and yes it was.

Anti-Arsenal chants erupted around the stadium in the closing stages unlike I'd seen before once Haaland had sealed the game with his second.

And this is where Ange Postecoglou has misunderstood the (silent) majority of the fanbase.

In criticising the fans' mentality after the game he suggested we don't want to watch a winning team. It showed that he doesn't appear to understand the fanbase and what the rivalry with Arsenal means - a rare misstep from someone who has spoken to eloquently throughout the season.

His rhetoric this week also feels damaging. Suggesting Tottenham fans need counselling for wanting City to win, despite earlier in the season saying he can't tell supporters how to think, the usual trophy jibes more akin to Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte in seasons gone by and even confronting a fan in the crowd all feed towards a growing disconnect between manager and supporters.

It also completely evades the fact that his team have lost five of their last six as he's consistently implied Champions League football doesn't matter in the run-in.

That said, Postecoglou showed us enough in the first 10 games of the season to make everyone think he can be the man to turn this club around. But now, on top of what was already a difficult summer to navigate, he also has to repair what appears to be a fractured relationship with the fans.

And that was not a headache anyone foresaw just a few weeks ago.